Ranieri takes trio of Italian assistants to Watford

Paolo Benetti, Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Cornacchia at Nantes

Paolo Benetti, Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Cornacchia at Nantes

CLAUDIO RANIERI has taken a trio of Italian assistants with him to Watford.

The 69-year-old was confirmed as the new Hornets boss on a two-year contract this evening. He replaces Xisco Muñoz, who was sacked on Sunday following the 1-0 defeat by Leeds United.

Ranieri has brought in:

  • Paolo Benetti (assistant): Has worked with Ranieri since 2007, making this their 11th team together. Was part of the staff that won the Premier League with Leicester in 2016.
  • Carlo Cornacchia (assistant): Played under Ranieri at Cagliari and Napoli, at the start of his managerial career. The pair stayed in touch and Cornacchia joined his staff at Nantes in 2017. Followed him to Fulham, Roma, Sampdoria and now Watford.
  • Carlo Spignoli (fitness coach): Ranieri took him to Monaco in 2012 and Spignoli stayed when his boss was sacked - for a total of seven years in fact. Rejoined Ranieri at Sampdoria in October 2019.

Two members of staff left the club along with Muñoz - fitness coach Jordi Abella and tactical analyst Miguel Munoz.

In May this year, Cornacchia gave an interesting interview to the Changing The Game Project Podcast, discussing his coaching journey and relationship with Ranieri. The Italian, who speaks excellent English after working in America for many years, said: I had the good fortune to play for him (Ranieri) when he was a young coach, 38, at Cagliari in Serie B.

“We won the league and he left for Naples, a big jump. After that season he called me to Naples and we spent another year together. After that we always kept contact.

“The main quality of Claudio is, regardless of age, that he is young. He is able to absorb every new fashion and analyse it and take what is needed and add it to his base. It is amazing.

“The strength of Claudio is he is able to adapt to the situation. You go to a place and don’t change if it isn’t needed to change. You don’t change the cultural behaviour.

“In England (at Fulham) these guys were eating a certain way, training a certain way, acting a certain way - they were completely different than the Italian way - but we didn’t change a thing.

“The same in France (with Nantes). It’s how you are able to create immediately a feeling with your players. With Claudio, it is easier for him, because he is an institution. He is a perfect example of a gentleman who is there to help you out. He is a professional and will treat you as a professional.

“The players respect him incredibly and know they can go to Claudio and talk any time, about everything. He is a father figure to them.”

Cornacchia also talked about his own role as assistant.

“You are the glue,” he said. “Sometimes the player is pissed off and your job as assistant is to have eyes. You have to focus on what the Head Coach is not focussed on.

“When you see the player’s body language and the way they behave on the pitch you have to be able to talk to them. And if they trust you they will tell you. I let them explore another point of view.”

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